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Earlier in the week NHL Central Scouting released their midseason rankings for draft-eligible players in the upcoming 2017 NHL Draft. While Nolan Patrick was at the top of the list, Swiss forward Nico Hischier was listed at number two and has serious potential of being drafted first overall come June.

Hischier, 18, has been one of the most talked about prospects regarding the 2017 NHL Draft. Not only has he played in Switzerland’s highest hockey league as a teenager, but he is now currently dominating in the CHL with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. He has also shown incredible promise at this year’s World Junior Championships.

In 2015-16 Hischier appeared in 15 games for Bern SC, a team in the Swiss-A league, the highest Swiss league available as a teenager. In those 15 games Hischier registered 1 goal and despite not putting up significant points, he held his own and excelled in one of the most difficult leagues Switzerland has to offer.

He out had an out clause in his contract and decided to take it, thus moving to be the CHL where he was drafted by the Halifax Mooseheads. Since making the move Hischier has dominated registering 67 points in 39 games consisting of 33 goals and 34 assists. Not only does that place him second in points on the Mooseheads, but Hischier is also fourth overall in points for the entire Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

nico.gif From The Faceoff

Making the toe drag look easy:

Hischier also had a lot of success at the 2017 World Junior Championships. Although Switzerland was defeated in the Quarter Finals by the United States, Hischier was able to record 15 points in 11 games. Having successful international play can help a young players’ draft position and this outing can only be positive exposure for Hischier.

nico-2

Hischier may have a significant change of going first overall this year because Nolan Patrick missed an enormous amount of time due to injury. Despite being a top projected prospect for years, Patrick has only appeared in 10 games this season for the Brandon Wheat Kings where he amassed 17 points.

Although Patrick is atop the midseason rankings right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will go first overall come draft time. Depending on who receives the number one pick the choice may be different. As of right now the first overall selection has the highest chance of going to either the Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes or New York Islanders. The standings are likely to change in the coming months, but each team has different needs. Both Patrick and Hischier are centers so it will likely come down to play style, personal preference and who they think can contribute to their respective franchise more. However, Hischier may be able to get the upper hand on Patrick if he can continue tearing up the QMJHL. If this is the case, Hischier will be the first Swiss born player to ever be drafted first overall.

Although the experts seem to have the consensus that Nolan Patrick will be taken first overall at the Draft, Nico Hischier may be the one taking the first steps onto the stage of the United Center in Chicago come June.